A little known fact about Ash Wednesday

It’s an American custom to smear the ashes on the forehead. In Europe, ashes are usually sprinkled over the crown of the head.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting. However in the UK and as far as I can recall the ashes have always been placed on the head usually with the priest making a cross and suggesting something akin to “Repent and believe the Gospel” or similar. In recent years technology has allowed priests to dab a small cross in the ashes and make this mark on the head. It is cleaner and makes a nice cross image on the forehead. Of course the down side is that one may receive the odd look from the general public or shop keepers. I myself forgot and on this ash wednesday 2011 went to have my hair cut . .and on removing my hat shocked the barber (a non religeous gentleman but with a good cockney humour) into suggesting I was like Damien from the Omen horror movies! I had to laugh and explain why I had this cross smeared on my head which satisfied his enquiry but reminded me of the quaint customs that the Church retains whilst the world often forgets.


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